HOME                        ABOUT                        SHOP                        CONTACT                        SPONSOR                        NEW HERE?                        GOOD READS                       

12.31.2014

MY FAVORITE POSTS OF 2014

Happy New Year's Eve, brave hearts!! I am always amazed by how quickly the years pass by, and this one was no exception. 2014 has been a fun year for Rivers and Roads. It has been my most intentional and invested year in blogging, and it has challenged my creativity, which has been good for me! I have been so blessed by the friends I've made and the the opportunities I've been given. I'm looking forward to cultivating this space and my skills over the next year, as well as my relationship with you all!

One more sleep until 2015, so let's take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we?


1 | TRISTYLE & CO.
This new adventure with Beth and Samantha has been so fun and exciting! Our goal in creating this new project was to encourage and celebrate the beauty in each one of us as we live in community! We are so grateful for the friends who have joined us and excited to meet the ones who will join in on the fun 2015 will hold!


2 | SEEKING BEAUTY
I've thought a lot this year about life and creation and soaking up every little joy around us. Learning over and over that I don't have to run off far and away to find something new and exciting. Adventure awaits right outside my door. Learn to enjoy both the smaller and grander things in life!



3 | ADVENTURES IN DISNEYLAND
California, here I come! I had the gift of getting to visit my brother and sister-in-law in California at the beginning of the year. It was so fun to see their new home, their new pup, and go on a surprise trip to Disneyland!! I had never been and it was definitely a memorable day I'll never forget.



4 | FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD SWITCH TO DISQUS
I shared with you my love for Disqus. It's the commenting platform that has helped create a closer knit community and provided a more efficient way of communicating with my readers! If you still haven't made the switch, I highly suggest putting it on your list for 2015. :)



5 | FLORIDA OR BUST
Road trips are one of my favorite things, and I got to go on a trip to the beach with three of my best friends this year. They are some of my dearest friends from college, and it was so fun spending a long weekend together soaking up some Vitamin D, listening to the sound of the waves, having deep heart talks, laughing til we cried, and getting our tan on. Sigh...I miss being tan.



6 | MIXED BERRY BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
Smoothies were my jam this summer. They are the easiest thing in the world to make, and I drank one almost every morning for a few months. I need to get back on the smoothie train in 2015. They are a great way to start my day...full of the many nutrients I need in my diet!



7 | MY TWENTY-SIXTH YEAR
I learned a whole lot about being brave in 2014, and I shared that with you on my twenty-sixth birthday. Being brave looked much different than I had first imagined, but just as beautiful and wonderful. It is something I am continually learning to be.



8 | MEET ME ON THE WATER
I spent a few days in my kayak out on the water over the summer and autumn months. It is one of my favorite places to be. So calm, so peaceful, so beautiful. When I'm old and gray, I will live in a cabin by a lake in the mountains. :)



9 | BESTIE STYLE
Long distance friendships have been the story of my life. I shared some of the things I have learned about maintaining those relationships. They take intentionality and good communication on both sides. It's hard work, but worth it to keep those beautiful friendships!



10 | DIY VANILLA SUGAR SCRUB
This sugar scrub was whipped up as a gift, and made a great addition to many Christmas packages! It takes maybe ten minutes to make, so it's perfect for all you last-minute gift givers! Plus, it smells heavenly.



11 | 5 THINGS I LEARNED FROM PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
I love all things British, and I love reading. Jane Austen has been a big part of my life and her stories have taught me many things over the years. A lot of those things I learned from Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. :)



12 | WARDROBE STAPLES
This year I started taking a lot more style photos. Now, I've never claimed to be a fashion blogger (and I probably never will be), but I began embracing my style much more this year and sharing that everyday style with you! I also purged my closet and started creating my capsule wardrobe with quality items I truly love that will last  a long time! :)


Thank you so much for being such faithful and supportive readers of my blog. This space is not just for me, but for you as well. You are a huge part of what is happening here, and I am excited to see what adventures 2015 will bring us! Wishing you a joyful and grace-filled new year!

XOXO.

12.30.2014

TRISTYLE & CO. | FAVORITE FESTIVE SWEATERS






Oh hello, friends! Remember our Tristyle challenge for December? We asked you to show us how you style your favorite festive (ugly) Christmas sweaters! Thanks to everyone who participated with us this month. :) I loved seeing your Christmas spirit shine through, and boy, do you guys have some incredible sweaters. I hope you rocked them all season long! Save them for next year. ;)

Beth, Sam, and I have loved this TriStyle community, and we are super excited to see what 2015 will hold for TriStyle & Co. I hope you'll join us on the adventure! We'll have more style challenges for you to participate in with us each month, so stay tuned and start working on your model poses!

12.29.2014

WEEKEND UPDATE


RECAPS
1 |  Vacationing. While we were in Florida, we spent a day at Universal Studios. After the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, some of the balloons are sent down to Universal, and we got to see a shorter version of the parade!

2 | Rapunzel forever. Getting to see the land and tower of Rapunzel was a highlight for me during our Disney trip. I can't stop thinking about it!! She is my favorite princess. :)

3 | Christmas celebrations. My family opened presents on Christmas Eve together and we played games while watching It's a Wonderful Life. #classic. Some family came over Christmas day for games and yummy food. We still have our tree up (and will for another week, at my request) because the season isn't over til it's over. ;)

4 | Forever friends. I can't believe it was just a week ago that we got to meet up with one of our old camp friends during our last day at Disney! We hung out in Downtown Disney, grabbed coffee, walked around, ate lunch, and enjoyed catching up on each others' lives.

5 | Into the Woods. We went to see the movie over the weekend, and I am still trying to decide how I feel about it. I only knew a little bit about the original before seeing the movie, so I was surprised by parts of the storyline. I liked the majority of the movie, laughed out loud several times, and the music was incredible, but the ending made me feel weird. There were just a lot of mixed messages in there. I say go see it for yourself (or Redbox it later) and tell me what you think!

6 | Unbroken. I also saw this movie over the weekend, and it is a must-see. Louis Zamperini's story is one worth knowing and worth sharing. It is extremely difficult and beautiful at the same time. He was an incredible man, and I highly recommend seeing the movie as soon as possible.

FAVORITE FINDS
-- Thomas Kincaid styled Disney scenes
-- A trip to Yosemite is on my bucket list.
-- Someone teach me how to create this hairstyle.
-- What's on your list of travel essentials?
-- My southern soul loves me some good baked beans.
-- Cinderella, Cinderella, I can't wait for Cinderella!

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Well, I kind of took last week off (for the first time in forever), so you didn't really miss a thing! I just needed time to relax and celebrate Christmas without worrying about this little space. But I'm baaaaack. :) I'm excited to begin a new year and new adventures in the blog world!

HOW WAS YOUR CHRISTMAS?

12.23.2014

WEEKEND UPDATE





RECAP
Hello friends! I am back home after a magical week at Disneyworld. It was a refreshing and much needed week away spending time with best friends. We laughed until we couldn't breathe, ate lots of yummy food, walked until our legs about fell off, rode rides, watched shows, and explored the exciting world of Disney. We even got to meet up with two dear friends from our camp days while we were at Disney. It was such a sweet gift to get to see them! I can't wait to share more about our trip with you!

FAVORITE FINDS
-- Hey Harry Potter lovers! Get the backstory on Draco Malfoy.
-- Yummy and easy-to-make Christmas treats.
-- Frozen inspired Christmas cookies.
-- I kind of love this ombre look.
-- DIY gold Christmas decor.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
DIY Vanilla Sugar Scrub
Christmas Favorites
DIY Washi Tape Jar

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

12.18.2014

DIY WASHI TAPE JAR

Some of my favorite projects are created out of things I already have around the house. Today I have another last-minute Christmas gift idea for you! I'm always looking for little extras to put in with my gifts, and this simple DIY is the perfect addition! Samantha did this DIY recently and I was inspired to do the same as a fun addition to my #greatchristmas2014 package. :)

All you need is a jar of some kind, washi tape, and your gift recipient's favorite Christmas candy. It's that easy! It's a fun and tasty addition to any Christmas package that can be enjoyed over the holiday season. I love this washi tape decorating idea because it's not permanent. You can change the tape designs to your liking all throughout the year!










WHAT ARE YOUR LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS?

12.17.2014

CHRISTMAS FAVORITES

Oh hello, brave hearts! Today I'm sharing some of my Christmas favorites along with Sam and Beth. We all love to read Treasures and Travels, and their post of favorites was so fun that we decided to join in! Christmas is my favorite holiday, and it's full of some of my favorite things! Christmas trees, twinkly lights, time with friends and family, my grandmother's homemade fudge, gift giving, games, Christmas carols, traditions, Christmas movies, snowflakes, warm woolen mittens, celebrating Jesus' birth...the list goes on and on. I'm excited to share some of those things with you!




FAVORITE CHRISTMAS...

MOVIE: I have more than one favorite! Two of them are White Christmas and Elf (obvi.) I grew up watching White Christmas every single year with my family. I can quote the movie and sing all of the songs. :) The same goes for Elf. LOVE that movie. I laugh so much every single time. Also, a friend pointed out the other day that the Elf date where they get coffee and look at Christmas trees all night would probs be my favorite of all time. They were right.

DRINK: I'm a classic hot chocolate kind of girl. My mama makes the best homemade hot chocolate. It is rich and creamy and gets better with each sip. No lie! It is SO good. 

ALBUM: Music is my jam. I love the classic Bing Crosby Christmas album, A Johnnyswim Christmas, and I really love the new Rend Collective Campfire Christmas!

BAKING: Peanut butter balls. They are my favorite. Delicious, homemade chocolate and peanut butter goodness. They are so easy to make and a classic Christmas staple. Yum town.

TRADITION: My family loves traditions, and we have so many of them! For the past eight years, we have headed up to Nashville for Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God concert at The Ryman. It's my favorite tradition and one of the most beautiful days of my year. I missed it this year since I'm at Disneyworld, but there is always next year! :)

ORNAMENT: Hmmm. I have this one ornament that is a snowman s'more wrapped up in a sleeping bag. He's pretty cute. Another favorite is a beautiful star my parents brought home from their disaster response trip to the Philippines last year. I love the way the light shines through it.

MEMORY: Living in Tennessee, we don't typically have snow on Christmas. But a few years ago on Christmas morning, I woke up to over eight inches of snow (that's a lot for us!) and a world blanketed in white!! It was the perfect and most magical white Christmas.

FOOD: Does puppy chow count? I feel like it's a Christmas food. Also, if you can't tell, I love peanut butter and chocolate. And covered in powdered sugar ( AKA snow.)

SMELL: Christmas trees. I love the smell of Fraser Firs, and I wish I could keep that smell in my house all year long. If I had to pick between a bouquet of flowers and a bouquet of boughs of Fraser, Fraser would win every time.

VERSE: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. | Isaiah 9:6


WHAT ARE YOUR CHRISTMAS FAVORITES?

12.16.2014

DIY VANILLA SUGAR SCRUB

We are one week out from Christmas, and I'm sure some of you are still finishing up your Christmas shopping. At this point you are probably needing to find easy and quick gift ideas and stocking stuffers. I've got you covered! I whipped up this sugar scrub a couple of weeks ago and have given it out to several people as part of their Christmas gifts! It is super simple and inexpensive to make. Plus, it's a great exfoliant for the skin!















WHAT YOU NEED: 
2 cups of sugar in the raw
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of olive, almond, or coconut oil
4 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Pick a vessel of your choice (I went with mini-mason jars) and fill it with your yummy smelling sugar scrub! Stuff the stockings, wrap the gifts, spread the cheer, and enjoy!

12.15.2014

WEEKEND UPDATE



RECAPS
1 | Puppy sitting. I house/puppy sat for some friends over the weekend. It was nice to have some introvert time. I worked on posts, ate popcorn, watched cheesy Christmas movies, and snuggled with an adorable pup.

2 | Mockingjay, round two. My friends Alex and Todd are my Hunger Games buddies. We go see the movies together...it's just the way things are. :) They were out of the town the weekend Mockingjay came out and made me promise to go see it again with them. Of course I obliged. I was still on the edge of my seat the second time!

3 | Vacation prep. I spent the entire day on Saturday doing laundry and getting things ready to pack for Disney!! I am the worst when it comes to making packing decisions. I always stress over what to bring, and what the weather might be like, and do I have enough jackets?? Haha. I am such a planner.

4 | Brown paper packages. I received some fun Christmas gifts last week that made my heart smile. The cutest print from one of my favorite artists...I like to pretend it's me and my pup. Thanks to dear friends who send thoughtful gifts! :)

OTHER FINDS
-- So basically, I need to go to Iceland.
-- 54 Walt Disney animation movie posters!
-- Holy yum town, Batman. Cranberry white chocolate cream cheese cookies...
-- This is a fun way to recycle your wedding dress.
-- This is a great series on the book of Ruth.
-- 10 great stocking stuffers for men!
-- You need this carabiner mug in your life.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
December Crushes
A Hallelujah Christmas
5 Ways To Save Money
Five Things You Don't Know About Me | Vol. 2

P.S. I am leaving for my Disney vacation today. Bah! I'm over-the-moon excited to spend a whole week with some of my best friends in the happiest place on earth! A whole week of no work and no checking emails. :) Follow along with our adventures on instagram. You can count on me to post fun photos from Disney and Harry Potter world! Woohoo!

Sweet Mandy has been hanging out on my sidebar this month, and if you haven't had the chance to visit her, you can do that now! :)

Mandy just got back from an overseas adventure, and I love her really helpful tips for traveling in Europe! She also has some great recommendations for your Chicago travels (a city that I love!) Oh, and her advice about Pinterest is some we could all benefit from!

MANDY'S FINDS
-- Loving these cute rain boots!
-- 50 No-Fluff Blog Post Ideas
-- Custom state prints.
-- For all you adventurers, a list of castles in the UK.


WHAT WERE YOUR WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS?

12.12.2014

5 THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME | VOL. 2








Hi friends! I wish we could all meet for coffee dates on the reg and get to know each other better. Since we can't, I thought I'd share a few more random tidbits about little old me. Facts that might come up at some point in conversation during the course of our friendship...

1 | I was on a mock trial team.
During my sophomore year of high school, I joined a mock trial team, and it was awesome. Our case was regarding a soccer game accident...broken jaw by deliberate elbow jab to the face. Dun dun dun! I played the part of the plaintiff's best friend and fellow soccer player. I think my name was Ray. Ha!

2 | I've always loved sports.
I played soccer for a couple of years when I was younger, but I was never super awesome at it. Then I played basketball for the YMCA in middle school...I was the only girl in my league. It was great. I started swimming competitively when I was seven and swam all the way through high school. In college, I switched over to ultimate frisbee, which I played a handful of times each week. I absolutely loved it, but broke a few bones over the course of my frisbee career. The sports years were eventful, for sure.

3 | I was home schooled.
People tend to find this fact way more interesting than I do. Haha. I went to public school for kindergarten and then was home schooled through the end of high school. My brother and I were super involved in co-ops and extracurricular programs and sports. We both dual-enrolled at our local community college during high school, which allowed us to gain high school and college credit at the same time! Score. Also, a perk of being home schooled: you get to go on vacation whenever the heck you want. Woohoo!

4 | I worked at Chick-Fil-A in high school.
Honestly, Chick-Fil-A is a great work environment for high school kids. I made great friends, learned a lot about customer service, and ate my weight x100 in waffle fries and polynesian sauce.

5 | I've had a few awkward dates.
This is one of my friends' favorite things about me...my awkward stories. Apparently my life should be a sitcom. So this one time, I went on a date where I apparently got lettuce stuck in my teeth. BUT the guy didn't tell me! Can you believe it? So there I am, for who knows how long, with like half a salad hanging out in my mouth. I didn't even know about it until I got back to my car and caught a glimpse in the mirror. How long has that been there?? #mortified JK. I laughed so hard about it. For reals, though. If someone has something stuck in their pearly whites, tell them immediately. ;)

WHAT'S ONE RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOU?

12.11.2014

5 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY



Earlier this year, my company graciously provided us with a year subscription to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace course. I was raised by parents who have taught me how to manage my money from a very young age. I'm pretty sure I've kept a budget since I could count! So a lot of the things Dave teaches are all concepts I had already learned, but I've really enjoyed the reminders. Here are some things I've been practicing (and that have been saving me money) more and more since going through the class.

1 | Drink Less Coffee
I'm pretty sure I just heard all you coffee drinkers groan in agony. Don't get me wrong, I didn't say to quit drinking coffee, just monitor your spending. I know it's really easy for me to swing by Starbucks or reload my card via their super handy app without realizing how much money I'm spending! So I set a new rule for myself that I can't buy coffee unless I have a gift card or it's been specifically budgeted for that month. I've saved so much money by following that rule over the past few months, and I haven't even really missed my Starbucks trips all that much! ;)

2 | Eat Out Less
This is a big one for many people. It's so much easier to stop and pick something up for dinner after a long, hard day at work than to go home and prepare something for yourself. I've actually started using cash only for eating out. That way, I can better track my spending throughout the month, and if I run out of cash, I run out of cash. Using cash only really makes you stop and think before you decide to swing by Chick-fil-A for the third time that week. HA! It hurts you a little bit more to use cash (you know, handing over real money) than swiping a card, so you are more hesitant to spend it! Voila. Money-saving machine.

3 | Define Wants and Needs
It's very easy to spend, spend, spend on things we have told ourselves are "needs", but are actually just "wants". Clearly define those things for yourself before you head out to shop. Another nugget of advice: unsubscribe from emails that are always offering you coupons to buys clothes and this and that. Coupons are great when it comes to things you need, but they are a temptation when it comes to items that are not necessary. For instance, you get a "40% off" email from GAP and you REALLY want that cute dress you've been eyeing forever (but you really don't have the money) but who knows when GAP will have a sale again?? Honey, calm down. GAP has a sale like every single week. You'll be fine. We live in a world of instant gratification, and I just want you to know, it's okay to wait for things you can't really afford right now.

4 | No Loneliness Spending (Treat Yo'self)
Stop the impulse buying. I'm talking about that shopping you do after a bad day, a bad week, or a bad year, when you go out and buy things you don't really need, but you think will make you feel better. Let's be honest, those things never tend to satisfy. So on your bad days, instead of spending lots of money you'll regret, go home and binge watch Netflix. This strategy tends to work for me. ;) Sure, it's fine to treat yo'self every now and then, but only if you have the money in the bank!

5 | Create A Budget
Last, but certainly not least, create a budget. Make categories for spending, paying bills, saving, etc. and stick to it.  There are tons of budget tools and apps out there to help you get started! I have not personally used it, but I hear Mint is a great one. It's free and helps you organize your bills and money all in one place! I know budgeting and money can be completely overwhelming, but I believe in you. You've got this!

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY?

12.10.2014

A HALLELUJAH CHRISTMAS

By now you probably know about my love for all things music. Pair that with all things Christmas, and I'm a happy girl. Last week I shared my favorite Christmas albums with you, but there are so many individual songs I love as well! I discovered this rendition of Hallelujah last year and fell in love with it. The lyrics are so beautifully written and perfect for this wonderful season. I hope you take a moment to listen, to soak up the words, to breathe in the truth. If you're anything like me, it might just leave you with little puddles in your eyes.
 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
| Isaiah 9:6 |

12.09.2014

DECEMBER CRUSHES


1 | Marrying Mr. Darcy 
This game looks HILARIOUS. I don't own it yet, but friends do, and we just might play a few rounds while we're at Disney. Darcy and Disney...they go together.

2 | Patagonia Retro-X Vest
I've been crushing on this little guy for a couple of years, but haven't been able to find it on a good sale. It looks so soft and warm though, right?

3 | Rapunzel Watercolor Print
As we all know, if I were a Disney princess, I'd be Rapunzel. ;) I bought this enchanting print recently for a little gallery wall I'm putting together.

4 | Camp Mug
Oh man, oh man, oh man. These camp mugs are magic. They combine my love for all things outdoors plus my love for yummy warm beverages.

5 | Title Nine Apres Pullover
This pullover just looks like it would be all kinds of coziness. I love how long it is...it'd be perfect to wear with a favorite pair of leggings.

6 | White Christmas Quote
White Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies, and this print is perfect! I love that scene on the train when they sing this song and create a snowy hillside with a napkin, and sing about snow, snooooooow, SNOOOOOOW.

WHAT ARE YOU CRUSHING ON THIS MONTH?

12.08.2014

WEEKEND UPDATE



RECAPS
1 | Harry Potter read-a-thon. Over the course of this week(end) I finished the last book in the Harry Potter series. I cried...a lot. I become very emotionally attached to fictional characters (especially after seven books), and this feels like the end of an era. Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Forever and always.

2 | Peter Pan. Did y'all watch Peter Pan live on Thursday night? It was so great! Peter Pan was one of my favorite stories growing up...my brother and I watched the disney movie over and over and over...and it was so fun to watch the play!

3 | Core group Christmas party. My core group has a Christmas party every year..it's my fave. We do Secret Santa gifts, eat yummy foods, and play games. This year we played Heads Up and laughed until we couldn't breathe. It was definitely a winner. I'm so thankful for those girls and all of the years we've walked through together.

4 | Disney has my heart. I went to see Big Hero 6 on Saturday and cried approximately six times. It was so much more than I had expected, and I definitely recommend going to see it! Disney is always the best.

OTHER FINDS
-- Holy LEGOs, batman!
-- You, yes you. You are important.
-- Yummy Christmas cookies.
-- Cutest baby in THE WORLD.
-- I want to make this PVC pipe wreath!
-- Need gift ideas for her? I've gotcha covered.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
TriStyle & Co. | Ugly Christmas Sweaters
December Goals
My Christmas Jams
My Favorite Things Giveaway | Thatch & Thistle

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKND?

12.05.2014

MY FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY

Oh hello, dear ones! How are you? My family has been busy getting the house ready for Christmas all week. The tree is up, the lights and ornaments are on, the stocking have been hung over the fireplace, and Christmas movies have been watched. We are ready for this beautiful season that passes all too quickly.

Well, a new month means another My Favorite Things giveaway! This month my co-host Mandy and I are giving you the chance to win a holiday themed goody bag full of surprised from Thatch & Thistle valued at $50. That's a lot of goodies!



I discovered Thatch & Thistle last year and can't stop purchasing her perfect twine, adorable stickers, and straws so cute you almost don't want to use them! Oh and washi tape. Did I mention the washi tape? It is fabulous.  Thatch & Thistle can provide you with anything you need for your brown paper packages tied up with string...and then some! I can't tell you how many times I've received Thatch & Thistle goodies as gifts. With Christmas coming up, any of these items would make for some great stocking stuffers! AND you're in luck because you could be the winner of some of these items!



HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! This giveaway is run via Rafflecopter with several ways to enter! In exactly one week the giveaway will close, one winner will be selected at random and announced! The winner will be contacted by email. All entries will be verified, so please play by the rules! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by these wonderful ladies: 
Mandy Living Life | The Quiet Place | The Wetherills Say I Do 
Taking Steps Home | Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe | Elah Tree

If you would like to be one of the sponsors for the next MY FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY, join the team! You can find more information by clicking here and for 15% off all advertising options, use code MYFAVORITETHINGS at checkout!

HAPPY WEEKEND!

12.04.2014

MY CHRISTMAS JAMS

December is here, and I can finally talk about Christmas music without anyone judging me! :) I've been listening to Christmas music off and on since October because I am a huge fan and waiting until after Thanksgiving just doesn't give me enough time to fill up my Christmas meter. Now that it is socially acceptable to, I wanted to give you my Christmas album recommendations for this holiday season! There are so many great options out there, but these are a few of my favorites, and I highly recommend them all. Happy listening!



BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD | Andrew Peterson
For the past 8ish years, I have gone to Andrew Peterson's Christmas concert up at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It was a trip that soon became a favorite family tradition. This is the first year I won't be going (because I'll be on a plane taking me to Disney) and my heart is a little sad about it. That night and this music is magical and beautiful as it takes you through the story of Jesus. This is a must-have for your Christmas collection.

SNOW GLOBE | Matt Wertz
This album just screams Tennessee Christmas to me. It's fun and upbeat and full of southern charm.

CHRISTMAS CLASSICS | Bing Crosby
Oh, the classics. I could listen to Bing sing for the rest of my days. His rendition of White Christmas is the only one for me. This album is full of the melodies and sounds I remember from Christmases as a child. It's perfect for the sentimentality in all of us.

THE NUTCRACKER | Tchaikovsky
I really love classical music, and I've had this on repeat recently. It helps me focus and get through the work day. Plus, it's magical. Nutcrackers and dancing and sugar plum fairies!

ON THIS WINTER'S NIGHT | Lady Antebellum
Y'all, this is one of my favorite Christmas albums, for sure. It's the perfect mix of holiday tunes. Lady Antebellum sings the best rendition of Silent Night I have ever heard. It gives me chills and teary eyes every single time. Go listen!

CHRISTMAS COLLECTION 2014 | Sleeping At Last
Oh man. I love basically every single thing that Sleeping At Last does. This Christmas collection is no exception. It is wonderful, and I listen to it on repeat. When you're in the mood for chill and beautiful Christmas tunes, turn this baby on. BONUS: you can get the album for free on Noisetrade right now!

A JOHNNYSWIM CHRISTMAS | Johnnyswim
My friend Luna (okay, her name is Laura, but if she were a Harry Potter character, she'd be Luna...) introduced me to this sweet, musical couple this summer, and I instantly fell in love with their style and sound. Mmmm. It's just so good! They released a Christmas album this year, and it is spectacular!! You can listen on Spotify, or grab yourself a copy to keep forever and ever!

ELF | Soundtrack
First of all, if you've never seen Elf, drop whatever you are doing and watch it immediately. Now that we've got that out of the way, isn't the soundtrack fantastic?? I love singing and dancing along and quoting every word of the movie. :)

CAMPFIRE CHRISTMAS | Rend Collective
I got to see Rend Collective in concert this year, and they were fabulous. The Irish accents didn't hurt either. They just released their first Christmas album and it is so fun, just like them! I sing and clap and dance and laugh my way through the entire album. Get it. Now. Don't even stop to think. :) And listen over and over.

WHAT SONGS ARE ON YOUR CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST?

12.03.2014

DECEMBER GOALS


I know I keep saying this, but guys, the year has seriously flown by. It is a beautiful blur of bad days and good days, friends and family, work days and vacation days, laughter and tears, and everything in between. I am thankful for each and every day I was given this past year, and I still have a few left before welcoming in a new year and new adventures. I want to live them well, don't you? Let's recap the last goals of the year, shall we?

NOVEMBER REVIEW

1 | Finish reading Harry Potter - I'm supposed to have this finished before my Disney/Universal trip coming up in two weeks. I'm working on it and will be done before we leave! I read a few pages every time I have a few spare moments. 

2 | Read more of The Circle Maker - Nope. Didn't even crack the book open. Oops. 

3 | Complete 5 more chapters in the Blog Life course - Not even close. I didn't get to this either. I should've known the holidays are simply too busy for me. :) This will get done after the beginning of the year!


DECEMBER GOALS

1 | Be present - My goal for December is to be present. There is a lot planned for December and many traditions to take part in, so I am saying goodbye to blog related goals this month so that I can practice the old fashioned act of being present. Being present with my family and friends. Being present with Jesus. Being present in this season of His that we celebrate.

I'm keeping it simple this month, and for me, I think that is best. We live in a fast-paced world and an even faster-paced culture especially during the holidays. I want to take time to focus on what is important and what this season is really all about. Will you join me?

WHAT ARE YOUR DECEMBER GOALS?